Definitions for abuseəˈbyuz; əˈbyus

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word abuse

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

a•buse*əˈbyuz; əˈbyus(v.; n.)a•bused, a•bus•ing

  1. (v.t.)to use wrongly or improperly; misuse:

    to abuse one's authority.

  2. to treat in a harmful or injurious way:

    to abuse a horse; to abuse one's eyesight.

  3. to speak insultingly or harshly to or about; revile.

  4. to commit sexual assault upon.

  5. Obs. to deceive or mislead.

  6. (n.)wrong, improper, or excessive use; misuse:

    the abuse of privileges; drug abuse.

  7. harshly or coarsely insulting language.

  8. bad or improper treatment; maltreatment.

  9. a corrupt or improper practice or custom.

  10. rape or sexual assault.

  11. Obs. deception.

Idioms for abuse:

  1. abuse oneself, to masturbate.

    Category: Idiom

* Syn: abuse , censure , invective all mean strongly expressed disapproval. abuse implies an outburst of harsh and scathing words, often against one who is defenseless: abuse directed against an opponent.censure implies blame, adverse criticism, or condemnation: severe censure of her bad judgment.invective applies to strong but formal denunciation in speech or print, often in the public interest: invective against graft.

Origin of abuse:

1400–50; late ME < MF abuser, v. der. of abus < L abūsus misuse, wasting =abūt(ī) to use up, misuse (ab-ab - +ūtī to use ) +-tus suffix of v. action


Princeton's WordNet

  1. maltreatment, ill-treatment, ill-usage, abuse(noun)

    cruel or inhumane treatment

    "the child showed signs of physical abuse"

  2. abuse, insult, revilement, contumely, vilification(noun)

    a rude expression intended to offend or hurt

    "when a student made a stupid mistake he spared them no abuse"; "they yelled insults at the visiting team"

  3. misuse, abuse(verb)

    improper or excessive use

    "alcohol abuse"; "the abuse of public funds"

  4. mistreat, maltreat, abuse, ill-use, step, ill-treat(verb)

    treat badly

    "This boss abuses his workers"; "She is always stepping on others to get ahead"

  5. pervert, misuse, abuse(verb)

    change the inherent purpose or function of something

    "Don't abuse the system"; "The director of the factory misused the funds intended for the health care of his workers"

  6. abuse, clapperclaw, blackguard, shout(verb)

    use foul or abusive language towards

    "The actress abused the policeman who gave her a parking ticket"; "The angry mother shouted at the teacher"

  7. abuse(verb)

    use wrongly or improperly or excessively

    "Her husband often abuses alcohol"; "while she was pregnant, she abused drugs"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. abuse(verb)əˈbyuz; n. əˈbyus

    to treat violently or cruelly

    She was abused by her husband.

  2. abuseəˈbyuz; n. əˈbyus

    to use incorrectly, causing harm

    abusing alcohol; to abuse the system

  3. abuseəˈbyuz; n. əˈbyus

    to use offensive language

    abusing a police officer

  4. abuse(noun)əˈbyuz; n. əˈbyus

    violent or cruel treatment

    a victim of abuse; child abuse

  5. abuseəˈbyuz; n. əˈbyus

    incorrect and harmful use

    drug abuse; the abuse of power

  6. abuseəˈbyuz; n. əˈbyus

    offensive language

    to shout abuse at sb

Webster Dictionary

  1. Abuse(verb)

    to put to a wrong use; to misapply; to misuse; to put to a bad use; to use for a wrong purpose or end; to pervert; as, to abuse inherited gold; to make an excessive use of; as, to abuse one's authority

  2. Abuse(verb)

    to use ill; to maltreat; to act injuriously to; to punish or to tax excessively; to hurt; as, to abuse prisoners, to abuse one's powers, one's patience

  3. Abuse(verb)

    to revile; to reproach coarsely; to disparage

  4. Abuse(verb)

    to dishonor

  5. Abuse(verb)

    to violate; to ravish

  6. Abuse(verb)

    to deceive; to impose on

  7. Abuse(verb)

    improper treatment or use; application to a wrong or bad purpose; misuse; as, an abuse of our natural powers; an abuse of civil rights, or of privileges or advantages; an abuse of language

  8. Abuse(verb)

    physical ill treatment; injury

  9. Abuse(verb)

    a corrupt practice or custom; offense; crime; fault; as, the abuses in the civil service

  10. Abuse(verb)

    vituperative words; coarse, insulting speech; abusive language; virulent condemnation; reviling

  11. Abuse(verb)

    violation; rape; as, abuse of a female child


  1. Abuse

    Abuse is the improper usage or treatment of an entity, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, sexual assault, violation, rape, unjust practices; wrongful practice or custom; offense; crime, or otherwise verbal aggression.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'abuse' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3044

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'abuse' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3063

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'abuse' in Nouns Frequency: #1191

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'abuse' in Verbs Frequency: #989

Anagrams of abuse

  1. Beaus

Translations for abuse

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


insulting language

He shouted abuse at her.

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